Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky Education Commissioner Diagnosed with Vocal Disorder

Apr 17, 2013

The Commissioner of Education in Kentucky has been diagnosed with a neurological voice disorder that’s limiting his ability to talk normally. Dr. Terry Holliday started noticing symptoms last September, and by December his voice had dramatically deteriorated. 

After ruling out cancer, Holliday made appointments with several specialists.

“I’ve been diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, which is basically your vocal cords freeze up," Holliday said.

A cause of the condition is unknown but fortunately it’s not life-threatening. Spasmodic dysphonia is the  same disorder that affects public radio host Diane Rehm.

The State Board of Education will meet in special session Wednesday to consider taking over management of a southeast Kentucky school system. The Monticello Independent school district has waived its right to appeal a state takeover. The problems plaguing Monticello schools are not academic.

A financial analysis by the Kentucky Department of Education finds enrollment is declining while expenditures remain too high for the size of the district. 

A revenue forecast dated January 7 of this year estimates the general fund for Monticello will end the current school year with a negative balance of more than a million dollars. Additionally, the state last month had to advance over  $700,000 to Monticello to continue operating and make payroll.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday on Friday previewed an application process for public school districts wanting to operate more like charter schools, freed from a host of laws and regulations to run more independently.

After months of warnings to expect lackluster scores from Kentucky's new public school assessments, the state has announced the numbers will be released early next month. A news release from the state Department of Education says the scores will be available to the public November 2nd.

Kentucky is about to officially start a nonprofit education foundation modeled after one in Colorado and aimed at attracting funding for innovative school programs. State Education Commissioner Terry Holliday on Wednesday will deliver paperwork to the secretary of state's office incorporating the new Fund for Transforming Education.

Thousands more public high school students in Kentucky are taking Advanced Placement exams, and those numbers have more than doubled for some minority groups in the past five years. The Kentucky Department of Education attributed the rise to a program aimed at increasing both participation and success in the college-level courses.

Some Kentucky school superintendents are expressing concerns about a proposed state regulation on the use of student restraint. Pendleton County Schools Superintendent Anthony Strong told The Kentucky Enquirer that the proposal is too vague. He says there needs to be a better explanation of expectations.